Sunday, 23 May 2010

Kouign Amann

....or Breton Butter Cake in translation.

I've been visiting France frequently for years but until about six months ago, I'd overlooked this piece of culinary genius. Maybe it's because I've been distracted in patisseries by such delights as pretty sugar coated fruit tarts, pastel coloured macaroons and Louis' favourite, the religieuse which is what  you get if you try to make a model church out of profiteroles.


The Kouign Amman in contrast to its more flashy counterparts is brown and uninteresting.  But its unassuming looks are deceiving.  It is a culinary gem.  A triumph of sugary, buttery niceness and I'm sure it isn't vey calorific either!

I decided that I'd like to try my hand at making one myself and used this recipe by David Lebovitz which comes with some handy illustrations too.Worryingly, at some stages, my efforts didn't look like his corresponding pictures.  The squares of butter poked through the dough right to the end  but I persevered and got the dish in the oven.

Then disaster struck!  Even though I'd put my pie dish onto another bigger baking plate, the butter and sugar bubbled over and the oven caught fire!  Much shouting ensued but by the time I'd located the fire extinguisher  in the motorhome (learning point:  must put in a place where I can lay my hands on it in about a second!) the flames were out.  I continued the baking process without incident in my combination microwave.

And here's the finished product, not the most flashy looking dessert, as I have already explained.  But even after the catalogues of errors it still tastes superb and will be served for lunch with stewed rhubarb, to counteract the sweetness and  a dollop of greek yoghurt for good measure!

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